Dept. of Education Fines Liberty University $14 Million for Safety Failures

Liberty pays the largest fine ever for violating the Clery Act

Liberty University (LU), a private university, was fined $14 million by the Department of Education for violating federally mandated safety standards on campus.

The ED announced via a Tuesday press release that it had fined LU for “material and continuing violations of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy Act and Campus Crime Statistics Act” (Clery Act), which included its published crime statistics as well as treatment of survivors of sexual assault.

Students, faculty, and staff should feel safe and secure at their schools. Richard Cordray, FSA’s Chief Operating Officer, said that the agency responds aggressively to any complaints regarding campus safety and security.

The Clery Act obliges schools to create safe and secure campuses, investigate complaints, and disclose information about crimes or other safety concerns. If schools fail to comply, we will continue to hold them accountable.

The fine imposed on LU is the highest ever for a violation of the Clery Act.

The federal government requires that colleges participating in financial aid programs keep crime statistics and provide other information on campus safety. Liberty University will receive $874 million in student loans and grants for 2020-2021 from the Education Department.

In the settlement, Liberty University, the largest Christian university in America, agreed to invest “$2,000,000 over the next two years for improvements to campus safety and compliance” and a third-party accounting firm will oversee the implementation of these measures.

Liberty football helmet 2022: The fine Liberty University has been ordered to pay for violating the Clery Act is the highest ever.

The ED released several findings of a “program evaluation” that was conducted in February 2022 by the ED to assess LU’s conformity with the Clery Act. The ED stated that the announcement was made after receiving several complaints alleging that the university engaged in a pattern that reflected serious Clery Act violations.

Among its findings was a lack of administrative capabilities, which revealed that LU did not take any action between 2016 and 2023 to comply with the Clery Act standards. ED also reported that LU did not take any action to meet the requirements of the Clery Act for sexual violence prevention and response.

ED reported that LU had failed to classify and report crime statistics correctly. While schools are required to publish an annual report on safety and make their daily crime logs public, ED found that Liberty failed to keep accurate and complete crime logs during the review period.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona

LU officials stated the settlement. They said that the fine was imposed because the University had invested $10 million to improve measures to comply with Clery Act guidelines. The university said that it was treated differently than other universities that had undergone the same type of investigation in the past.

The Department of Education’s methods, findings, and calculations in the report were vastly different from the treatment they have given to other universities. Liberty does not agree with this approach and believes that the Department has treated us unfairly and selectively.

The University acknowledges that there have been many deficiencies in the past. Some examples include incorrect statistics reports, as well as timely warnings and notifications of emergencies that were not sent. “We acknowledge and regret past program deficiencies. We have corrected these errors since with great care.”

Liberty University (LU), a private university in the United States, was fined $14 million by the Department of Education for violating campus safety standards.

In October 2023, LU officials fought back against a leaked report from ED. The Christian university was facing an evaluation of its Clery Act Compliance and a $37.5 million unprecedented fine. Since then, they have appealed this fine with evidence that shows it has made an effort to comply with federal laws.

LU disputed the findings in the preliminary report leaked and denied several accusations made in the report. These included alleged sexual abuse reports involving high-ranking officials at the University and the “honor codes” that promote chastity and discourage sexual assault victims and witnesses from coming forward.

Liberty University President Dondi Costin stated that the report had been leaked before the deadline of June 30, 2023, to challenge the findings.

Costin, in an October 2023 interview with Fox News Digital, said that “the leak was intentionally intended to lay the foundation for an unprecedented fine. The report is full of factual errors which the Department admitted in their negotiations.”

Liberty, founded by Christian Right activist Jerry Falwell Sr. and televangelist, is known for its conservative code of honor that governs individual behavior. This includes prohibiting premarital sexual activity. It is also known for its close ties with prominent Republicans, such as former President Trump.

Liberty University, located in Lynchburg (Virginia), is home to over 130,000 students. This includes those enrolled in online programs.